What is Whiplash?

Whiplash happens when the head is jolted back and forth in a whip-like motion. This can lead to muscles and ligaments extending past their natural capacity. Extreme whiplash can cause damage to the spinal cord.

It is crucial to monitor any bodily changes for a few days after a car accident or other injury incident since your symptoms may not manifest for some time. Whiplash is a very mild condition, although it can result in long-lasting pain and discomfort.

What is the Main Cause of Whiplash?

Whiplash is mainly caused by a car accident when your car is hit from the back. However, it can still happen irrespective of the direction from which your car will be hit.  Less frequently, it can be caused by everyday actions such as physical abuse, contact sports accidents, tripping, falling, and jarring the neck.


What Are the Symptoms of Whiplash?

It might take you a few days before you even notice the symptoms associated with whiplash. When the symptoms show, it is high time to seek medical assistance. Some of these symptoms include;

  • Stiffness and neck pain
  • Difficult to move your neck
  • Losing range of motion in the neck
  • Headaches around the base of the skull
  • Pains on your shoulder, arms, and upper back
  • Numbness in your arms
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Poor vision
  • Disturbances during sleep
  • Concentration challenges
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Memory problems
  • Ringing in the ears

When to Visit a Doctor?

Some mild to moderate whiplash cases can be handled at home through pain medication and other solutions.

However, when you experience persistent symptoms, you will have to visit a doctor. Some of the symptoms that will force you to see a doctor include;

  • Stiffness and pain in the neck keep reappearing.
  • Severe pains in your neck
  • Numbness on your legs, arms, and shoulders.
  • Weakness in your arms and legs

How is Whiplash Diagnosed?

Once you visit the doctor, he/she will try to collect some history concerning the accident and the extent of the pain;

  • How did the accident happen?
  • Where are you feeling pain?
  • Is the pain shooting, dull, or sharp?

The doctors can also carry out a physical examination to determine your range of motion and find the areas of tenderness.

You might be ordered to have an imaging test to determine any inflammations and damage to the soft tissues, nerves, spinal cord, and brain. Some of the recommended imaging tests include; X-ray, CT scan, and MRI scan.

What Are Treatments of Whiplash?


You can employ various techniques in your massage session to ensure that the pressure being applied is reaching deep-lying structures. Massage helps increase blood flow, reduce muscle spasms, and promote tissue repair.

Use of pain relievers

If you have experienced a severe injury, a doctor will describe the appropriate pain-relieving substances you can use.

Applying ice or heat

You can also apply some ice or heat to injured parts to ensure that your muscles are well relaxed. This will also be important in improving the blood flow in your body.


It involves a therapist’s great movement of the injured joints and soft tissues to recover the usual range, relieve pain, and lubricate joint surfaces.


It is a high-velocity, short-distance push applied at the edge of the available range. It is utilized to break down adhesions, clear an obstruction within a joint, and restore pain-free full range of motion. A snap or sound may be heard throughout this procedure.


Physical exercise is very essential in restoring your muscle strength. You can engage a therapist to take you through exercise classes.

Posture and ergonomics

To ensure that your spinal cord fully recovers, you need to adopt an appropriate standing and seating posture all the time.

Alternative therapy

You can have ultrasound  therapy or interferential therapy. Ultrasound  therapy stimulates the body’s chemical reaction to enhance the healing process, while interferential therapy enhances blood flow, relieving pains and reducing inflammations

Neck and Back Pain

What Are the Benefits of Physiotherapy?

Nowadays, physiotherapy treatment can assist in managing, alleviating, and recovering from pain and physical damage to anyone suffering from whiplash. These healthcare specialists are qualified to evaluate, diagnose, and recommend the most effective treatment approach for recovery.

Physiotherapy acts as a preventive measure

If you undergo physiotherapy after an injury, it will help you overcome any further damage and consequences. The specialist will help improve your mobility, flexibility, and strength.

Physiotherapy can help avoid lasting damage such as migraine, extreme pain, and the inability to walk; therefore, if you are involved in an accident or have a whiplash symptom, find the right physiotherapist immediately to advise you on the best medication. Delaying therapy can result in long-lasting damage on your muscles and tissues.

Reduces pain

Physiotherapy is quite effective at alleviating pain. The body needs physical exercise to ease pain and accelerate healing. Consequently, physiotherapists frequently suggest individualized programs consisting of stretches and strengthening exercises for the affected body part. Undergoing the necessary physical activity will improve the flow of blood and nutrients to the affected body part hence expediting recovery.

Avoid future surgery

Immediately following a car accident, some people may require surgery. Occasionally, the original injury can deteriorate over time due to excessive wear and tear on the soft tissues. As a result, the minor damage could worsen and necessitate surgery in the future. By strengthening the weaker muscles, tendons, and ligaments, physiotherapy can help patients avoid surgery in certain circumstances.

Regardless of the severity of your injury, physiotherapists can help you return to your routine. They have the necessary information, training, and competence to provide you with a treatment plan tailored to your individual needs.



Whiplash can be a dangerous condition if you don’t undergo appropriate treatment. In addition to other forms of medication, physiotherapy can be very effective in reducing body pains, preventing a series of effects of the injury, and avoiding surgery. Therefore, once you are involved in an accident, find a physiotherapist who can advise you appropriately on the best medication.

Why Choose Physiotherapy First

Our Brampton physiotherapists are well-educated and trained in the latest techniques and methods to provide you with a individualized exercise program. They undergo ongoing training and certification programs to further provide exceptional quality of care for each of our patients.

To learn more about physiotherapy treatments and services, how they could benefit you, or to schedule an initial consultation, please feel free to call Physiotherapy First at 905-796-6662 today!

We look forward to speaking with you to answer any questions you may have, discussing your health benefits plan coverage, and helping you alleviate your pain and discomfort to feel better.

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